27 Mar 2020

On Friday 20th September 2019, Senior School pupils from King’s Rochester held a special service of reflection in the sunlit gardens of Rochester Cathedral, focusing on the Knife Angel.

Led by the School chaplain Reverend Stephen Padfield, the chapel service focused on the many stories of violence from across the country which inspired artist, Alfie Bradley and the British Ironwork Centre to create the sculpture. Pupils were asked to focus on the expression and body language of the Angel which feels like it’s simply asking ‘why?’.

Head of Religious Studies, Mrs Lisa Rogers read through a list of all the young victims of violent crime in England since January 1st 2019, a thought-provoking and humbling experience for pupils, many of whom are the same age as those listed. During September, many pupils and staff from King’s have visited the monument and signed the pledge to be #KnifeFree.

The captivating sound of ‘Amazing Grace’ stopped passers-by in their tracks, as pupils and staff joined in with the poignant hymn, raising their voices as each verse echoed around The Precinct and sunlit garden. Mrs Helen Bradshaw from Rochester Cathedral contacted the School, shortly after to say “As I turned the corner from the west front I was greeted with the glorious sound of Amazing Grace drifting from the sunlit garden. The sight of staff and students gathered around the angel singing that most beautiful songs brought a tear to my eye and caused me to pause and reflect. Thank you so very much”.

The service ended with a reading of the Coventry Declaration of Reconciliation, a litany against violence written in 1958 by Canon Joseph Poole after the demotion of Coventry Cathedral during the war.